Firstly I’d like to say a big welcome to http://www.huntervalleycsc.com/ and to send them my most sincere thanks for kindly permitting me to use their Facebook page to begin tapping into the conscientiouness of our Australian friends.
I write this simple blog for one reason only…the best interests of my gorgeous son Jordan Harry Cowan, who last year was ‘legally abducted’ and removed without my prior knowledge to Adelaide, Australia.
I hope that James and the rest of the TCN crew and its thousands of readers can forgive me for what is first and foremost, blatantly a heartfelt personal appeal for help and assistance in seeking justice for my son and only thereafter a Celtic-minded story.
In 2005, I for the first and to-date only occasion became a father. I was then blessed with a beautiful and healthy bouncing baby bhoy.
I had never felt such pure love and such an unconditional bond. Indeed for the first time in my whole life I felt not burdened by my own self expectation, but rather, I felt exceptionally motivated and driven to succeed in doing everything within my earthly powers to best care for, to nurture and to protect my newly found purpose in life…from that moment on I became not an issue of distant, but something of absolutely irrelevant secondary importance.
I would, and of course always will, put my son, his health, his happiness and his safety at the very top of my agenda…nothing and nobody will ever be more important to me than he, Jordan Harry Cowan. That bhoy is the brightly shone star at the absolute centre of my universe!
For three and a bit years, I enjoyed the blissful happiness, the remarkable contentment and the absolute pleasure and deeply held honour of sharing my life each day with my blonde haired treasure within a shared family household.
My life was not perfect, my son and our relationship however, most certainly was.
At the remarkably early age of only 6 months, I could see he shared my love of football, he would shun the flashing lights, the bright colours, the tactility and the beauty of all around him, each and every time he seen a football.
I would hold my index finger of each hand out as he grasped trustingly at my hands, all the while pushing himself from the floor to an elevated and indeed sure-footed, standing position. He would whilst calculating his balance through the certainty of his being support by virtue of his vice-like-grip upon my index fingers, walk over to a football of any size and two footed he’d begin kicking and dribbling it around the living-room, the garden or the park.
My gorgeous son never did attempt to crawl, he just walked and walked until he needed neither my outstretched fingers nor my protective proximity, he at 7 months was an ultra developed walking machine.
Jordan, always seemed drawn to the Celtic colours, each time I dawned a Celtic strip he would grasp at the fabric and he would ignore everyone and anyone, he would ignore all that otherwise surrounded him and he would gaze adoringly at the beauty of the hoops…I tell you this without either a word of a lie or even one of exaggeration…he was captivated.
I had a wonderful relationship with my son, he was the reason I recovered from a massive depression the likes of which I’d never previously known…even in my darkest moments, one look, one touch, one smile, one noise or one attentive gaze at, or from, my son, would light up my life and reassure me that I had much to offer and yet more to gain in this life. In those days, like now, he was the reason I couldn’t give up, the reason I chose to fight my inexplicable level of hurt and he acted as the entire dose of medicine I’d require to assist in my rapid recovery.
Life, as I said previously, was not perfect..far from it. I would however always utilise my fall-back position that no matter what life may throw at me, my beautiful son, his loving and bubbly manner and his natural affinity with my requirement for care and attention and his daily presence in my life, made any wrongs feel so many kind of right.
That was to change, well his daily presence did, when in November 2008, suddenly and without discussion his mother, Cheryl Watson, left the family home seemingly for a few days whilst I was on a seven-day period of night shift employment, she did however on day four of this period, contact me by TEXT MESSAGE and inform me she was not happy and that she was returned to reside with her parents.
I was distraught, my sense of family felt torn apart…did I sense however that he was lost to me forever…NO! I had a really amicable relationship with his mother, she and I would probably never have been together except for the beautiful and fortunate ‘accident’ that was the conception of my son.
I put all feelings of self-interest to one side, I and to be entirely fair his mother, both rolled up our sleeves and done what was best for Jordan’s sake…we often spent time together, still united in the bond of a family unit though no longer entirely resident together. I would give my last to Cheryl and Jordan, I would devote every waking minute not spent at work and even some of those moments racing to uplift and to be with my son.
I had Jordan each and every day I was off work, I would think nothing of making a 26 or so mile journey to take him to nursery, to doctors, to dentists, to speech therapists or ultimately to school. I would make special journeys several times each day in order to maintain his new-found normality, I would and I’ll never expect, nor accept, any thanks for doing what I considered best for my child…I would go completely out of my way to make sure he felt so secure, so loved and so special to his father.
Financially times were hard, the sudden loss of an entire and much budgeted for income had sent me into fraught fiscal waters, I would always however make sure that Jordan had all that he needed and much of what he desired, often choosing to skip meals myself to make sure he was properly fed and watered.
Despite having him three or four days and nights a week I always tried to smooth over his mothers financial needs as soon after our split she had moved into her own flat…I gave all that I could, I know in my heart of hearts that to be the case.
Life rolled on and despite my financial hardship and my constant cycle of work/Jordan, Jordan/work…I can honestly say that having my son develop away as successfully as he was, I was not only proud but extremely happy.
Despite missing him like crazy for 50 or so percent of my life; I did of course then have unrestricted access to communication with him by phone, in fact he often randomly and for nothing other than a wee natter phone me and that would always brighten up my day, I was happy just to know he knew that at the drop of a hat his daddy would race to his side in times of need.
He soon wanted to go to the football with me, he had become something of a aficionado of all things Celtic and himself an extremely gifted wee player, often amazing me with his control of a ball, his seriously strong kicking power and his brutal efficiency in tackling even if he had to go through your ankles first he made sure I didn’t delay the return of ‘his’ ball for longer than a second or two.
The bhoy was fast growing up and I am glad to say, he was healthy, gorgeous, loveable and out-going…I’ve yet to meet anyone who didn’t think the sun shone from his proverbial buttocks.
His mum of course, being so much younger than me enjoyed her freedom whilst Jordan was with ‘dad’, she met people and had a few boyfriends, no harm there.
As much as Jordan was all I needed in life, I knew that it wasn’t entirely healthy for me to become too withdrawn and I was often encouraged to get out and to put my boy band good looks to the service of Scotland’s most eligible ghirls, by friends and family.
I did miss the adult company and the only kind of attention that Jordan, if you catch my drift, could never afford me.
I had a few short-lived companion-ships but in the end of the day neither were nearly important enough to have me cancel even an odd overnight visit from my son, to accommodate them. I didn’t care to be honest if I ever met anyone who did, I guess I never wanted to either if truth be known.
In early 2010, I did however by chance meet up with a ghirl who changed my attitude slightly, for the first time in his 5 years of life, I snuck the extremely odd few nights off from his presence…always feeling really torn at the prospect.
I quickly realised that this ghirl, Nicola, was more than a passing interest, she to had enough intelligence about her to realise that my son had no equal in my eyes, she struck me as the balance that perhaps if any had been missing in my life.
I took my time before introducing them both to one another, in truth I’d have delayed it yet further but as a friend had given us a joint invitation to his Christmas wedding, I thought it prudent to integrate them to one another for a month or so before-hand.
The ghirl and my bhoy hit it off straight away, indeed at that wedding I was banished to table and seat watching duties as my gorgeous wee bhoy wooed Nic and continually dragged her around the dance floor. That was one of the finest sights I’ll ever see, two of the three loves of my life, Celtic weren’t invited…were so close and so happily engaged in mutual alienation of me that I just sat back and viewed how happy they both were; at that point I felt life couldn’t get any better, I just didn’t figure upon how much worse it would soon become.
That night, 28 December 2010, Cheryl drove to the Erskine Bridge Hotel to collect Jordan, with her was a decent looking fella, Joe Allison, who was her latest boyfriend having met him a month or so earlier.
I was introduced to Joe very briefly, I said hi and asked them how the movie they had watched in Glasgow had been, we exchanged a minute or so of pleasantries before I gave my kilted superstar a huge hug and begrudgingly said goodnight. I remember telling him I’d be over the next day to pick up his kilt and to visit him…he smiled and waved enthusiastically as he was driven away.
Little did I know that in that moment my relationship with Jordan and my life were thereafter set to be turned upside down.
I suddenly met stiff resistance to Jordan spending more than one night at a time with me, suddenly I became the target of spurious claims of unsettling Jordan and of telling him to be badly behaved and to dislike Joe…I would never have done such a thing; I did in fact encourage Jordan to be relaxed in talking about his seemingly enthused relationship with his mothers new boyfriend.
Joe by then had moved in, only a month or two had passed but for all I had reservation about whether that was fair on Jordan, I had until then been very trusting of his mothers judgement and had no reason to suspect she would ever act in anything but his best interests.
If my relationship had not suddenly become hampered by his mother, Jordan would have spent way more time with both myself and Nic than he transpired to have.
For all I was apparently encouraging Jordan to be badly behaved, his mum used to call me to give him a row if she said he had been out of line in any way, he listened and respected me…I used tell him to behave and to do whatever his mum asked of him. I would of course remind him that he was daddy’s little angel and I knew he wasn’t bad at all, I told him just to calm down and listen to his mum and that I’d see him as soon as possible.
Job done, his mother, Cheryl Watson would then tell me that she’d be willing to discuss when I’d see him again, mostly re-scheduling this discussion to another altogether ‘fictional’ time…often blaming me for his seemingly inappropriate behaviour to her new squeeze and using this as an excuse to delay being with my son.
I was sure that I could reason with Cheryl and that perhaps Jordan was a little unsettled by us both having new partners, I figured he may have been a little insecure though to be honest I never seen any of sign of that myself.
Cheryl, began to make outlandish claims like he was so badly behaved that she wanted a child psychologist to review him and all of a sudden I was not allowed to participate in his education or medical decisions.
I was too strapped for cash to jump straight to legal action, I also mistakenly assumed that the 2003 Act that provided equal parental right and responsibilities to parents protected me, unfortunately this legislation covered England alone and the Scottish version did not take effect until 4th May 2006, by virtue of Jordan being born before that date and despite me being named on his birth certificate and residing as a family unit until late 2008, it turned out the law afforded me no protection whatsoever.
In June 2011 my parents had seen enough, they paid for a lawyer and immediately we set to work trying to obtain the elusive rights I required, Cheryl though had other ideas and refused to volunteer these to me.
Informed that her refusal would lead to a court challenge, she then began to ignore even her own lawyers correspondence and by then 3 full months had passed in which I had not laid eyes upon, nor spoken to my son…much, much, much to my hurt and regret and most certainly not for the want of trying.
His mother eventually made a concession, this would turn out to be her most deceitful tactic, even amongst the many, many immoral tactics I have chosen to skip over…the concession was that she would permit him 8 hours visitation each week of the school holidays, always on a Wednesday between 1000 and 1800 hours.
I work shifts and so promptly arranged every Wednesday off.
The first Wednesday of my sons school holiday, having just completed his primary one year, I turned up at his mother’s home address as was specifically requested…she had however sold the house and a stranger answered.
I was deflated, of course angry, but utter devastation and disbelief, heartache and concern, over-ruled this feeling.
I chased up my lawyer, as per the legal process another succession of costly legal correspondence between my and her lawyers ensued…only after another four weeks would I be told I could see him as planned…by which only three weeks of his holidays remained.
My son, his birthday having been sometime before, flew into my arms…he hugged and kissed me and acted like the self-same bhoy I’d always uplifted before; only he said the occasional strange thing, still I wasn’t going to make him feel quizzed upon and I chose instead to enjoy every single moment of his company.
I presented him with his birthday presents which had lay wrapped for months…a new Celtic strip amongst them. Despite already wearing the short-sleeved version he was made up at the long-sleeved top and he thanked me profusely and with all the manners and charm I’d ever known of him.
I seen him only once more, the following Wednesday, on both occasions for fear of upsetting him I stupidly played down my cheerio, I didn’t forget….I ommitted to tell him how much I loved him, for fear of upsetting him, how ironic!
You see I tried to reach his gran to arrange to see him again but the woman had never liked me and had often caused me trouble…I got no reply.
That brings me to be reminded of th strange things he had said during the last sixteen hours that I had seen him, things like, that he wasn’t sure whose name I should put on his shirt…he loved Paddy McCourt and Gary Hooper but I had also offered his name on the strip, he said ‘I dunno, I’ll see what name my mum is calling me’. He then said that she had discussed changing his name…I was gutted but most importantly I didn’t want to make a scene.
He also mentioned going to Florida on holiday and on the week he was going back to school, he always did have quite an imagination but I resolved to watch his school attendance and informed my lawyer of these comments.
I seen him for those eight miniscule hours for the last time on the 3rd of August 2011, little did I know that on the 27th of July his mum, Joe and her brother had all got a visa to reside in Australia…before the next Wednesday had ever came around, Jordan had without even knowing been removed half-way around the world to stay in Adelaide with some very, very distant relations of Cheryl’s father, John Watson.
My son had left Glenboig thinking he was going to be back with his pals at school after a short holiday only he was never coming home, they claim to have a settled intention to stay there.
I was unable to get jurisdiction to be set as within Scottish law and at Airdrie Sheriff Court on 19 July 2012 after more than a year of expensive and time-consuming, heart-breaking legal action her lawyer challenged jurisdiction and actually stated “by virtue of her immoral and deceitful behaviour, it is clear to see that Cheryl never intended coming back to Scotland”, despite being on just a year-long visitors visa and still claiming UK benefits and Child Support on the premise that she was only a temporary visitor to the land down under.
I began to hear more and more from outraged people, including some of her more decent minded family members and friends, each of who relayed stories of concern regarding her sudden and erratic changes in behaviour and to their doubts over whether the best interests of my beautiful child were being served by her being in primary care of him.
These were other people’s honest, heartfelt opinions and observations, the many ‘specific’ behavioural concerns I have mentioned in previous versions of this blog have since been corroborated by other sources…I am deeply concerned in regard of the implications these issues may ultimately have upon my gorgeous, intelligent and emotionally aware little bhoy. As a loving and attentive parent…of course I am!
I have previously mentioned specific examples of Cheryl and Joe’s concerning behaviours, at least only those at the lower end of the scale. Those, then uncorroborated, accusations, I have however been advised to remove any mention of. I have been strongly ‘advised’ that what may be perceived as ‘unhelpful allegations’ are better not mentioned on this public format, at least at this particular time…not however because in any way they are untruthful, no merely because it is information which may be better served to explore at any subsequent and more relevant occassion…take from that what you will.
To me it was indeed a wonder that none of this information had ever reached me beforehand and it is of great, great regret…else I may have stopped this travesty of justice from ever occurring. Remarkably it transpired from what I’ve since been told that despite meeting Joe in October/November of 2010, Cheryl had since new years eve 2010 been planning the secret removal, and to find ways of going away to Australia whilst deceiving me concerning the matter.
Presumably that is what lay behind restricting the time I had with Jordan and to blaming me for his behaviour, for all the miraculous reasons Cheryl provided as to why I couldn’t speak to him and to see him…she had set out to minimise his dependency on seeing and engaging with his loving father.
I’ve fought hard to type this through tears and there is still so much I should mention but I’m aware that I’ve probably lost all but a few hardy souls by this point in the article.
I’ll wind it up, as succinctly as possible.
I have for well over a year now campaigned with politicians here in Scotland, with government agencies and with lawyers and courts, I have behaved my self impeccably and never lowered my morals as to even lie or to react other than legally. I have been in constant dialogue with Australia ministers and with their Department of Immigration and Citizenship, I have discussed much of the injustice and the extremely poor character and conduct of Cheryl.
I provided them with virtually conclusive evidence of her tax evasion history, the frauds she committed and the pathetically inept and neglectful standard of parenting she provides Jordan.
It would be crystal clear to any reasonable person who knew of the facts of this matter to be wholly confident that Cheryl was never the parental voice of guidance, reason or absolute committment, indeed neutrals and even friends of Cheryl’s have admitted that it was myself who had the closest bond with Jordan.
It would appear likely that a culmination of Joseph Allison’s insecurity, Mary and John Watson (Cheryl’s parents) dislike of me (believe it or not because I wouldn’t leave her when she became pregnant – they asked me to step a-side!!!) and Cheryl’s massive dose of jealousy because Jordan got on so well with the bright, gorgeous and successful ghirl I was with, Nic, was enough to render the most loving and reliable of dad’s as a irrelevance and a nuisance.
I can assure you all of the lack of morality involved in governments both here and in Australia. Indeed on the 7th September 2012, Cheryl was issued with a new visa, for a period and of a type unknown to me, that despite my most clear conveyance of the situation to-date to Minister Bowen, Minister for Immigration and Citizenship and his colleague Wendy Martin.
I can assure and prove the legitimacy of everything I say, I have letters detailing Cheryl’s deceit to the UK Child Support Agency, her months of irrational texts and refusal to attend mediation, the correspondence with lawyers, politicians and government agencies and newspaper articles advertising her undeclared freelance work and her professionally created business cards which all but prove conclusively her actions tax evasion and benefit fraud.
Australia has however opted to ignore the morality, and the lack thereof, in this situation and in doing so completely disregard the best interests and welfare of my beloved son and to provide what amounts to state sponsored sanctuary for legalised child abductors.
Please help me, with any contacts you may have in Australia and to apply pressure through social media and through conventional media channels. If you can share this story as far and as wide as possible I would be greatly appreciative, if you feel so moved perhaps whether staying in the UK, Australia or elsewhere you could write or email politicians in both countries and let them know of your displeasure…that is if of course you feel that way?!
I am resigned to not knowing if or when I may ever see my beloved son, if or when we can return to Celtic Park and take up our season tickets once more, if or when I’ll ever be hearing his voice. again…I have memories that cannot be taken away, nothing can replace his special place in my heart.
I beg you, campaign as if it were your own flesh and blood, if it prevents this awful and reprehensible situation from being replicated and this type of parental alienation from being imposed on any one child and their loving parent…then it will be well worth me having traded my privacy and having spilt my heart and my tears out in this blog.
PLEASE RETWEET AND SHARE BY ALL SOCIAL MEDIA FORMATS IF YOU AGREE THAT OUR FAMILY LAWS AND IMMIGRATION DEPARTMENTS ARE IMMORAL AND UNJUST.
Thanks to all those who read this blog, beginning to end…peace and love be to you all. I cannot wait until for me the most important member of the Celtic family comes home…please pray for him.